Take a moment to think about your daily business operations – do you notice high stress levels from your staff? Are their day-to-day tasks tedious, outdated, and time-consuming? Are you receiving internal and external complaints about your business operations? These could all be signs that it is time to streamline one or several organizational processes.
“Streamlining processes” is the practice of removing unnecessary steps or automating manual ones to better leverage your resources, improve communication, boost efficiency, increase productivity, and more. Routine is comfortable, and it can be challenging to know when to make a change or to notice the signs that improvements may be necessary or possible. Make time for this exercise at least annually; it can significantly impact your organization.
To get started, identify the end goal of the project. Is it to generate information faster? Reduce processing errors? Reduce workplace stress? Eliminate duplicative data entry? Develop redundancies for key positions? It is important to clarify your primary objective and use it as a guide when moving through the steps to follow.
Then document your current processes. Document each step and map the flow of the steps from beginning to end. Take note of the process owners, data, schedules, and tools used. Highlight the key objectives and controls associated with these processes. There are several tools you can use to organize your existing processes. Flow charts, Swimlane diagrams, Gantt charts, and Kanban boards are just a few examples readily available.
Creating a road map of your processes in their current state is the first step in beginning the journey to streamlining your processes. Once complete, you’re ready to analyze them and identify opportunities for improvement to achieve your goals.
Your trusted advisors here at Withum can be a valuable resource to help guide you through updating your processes and streamlining procedures. Reach out if you want help mapping existing processes or analyzing them for improvement.
For more information on this topic, please contact a member of Withum’s Multiemployer Benefit Plan Services or Labor Organization Services Teams.